Rule #250: You need a “go to drink”
I’ve never been much of a drinker, I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I’ve over indulged.
It never made sense to me why people enjoyed the process of drinking until they could not remember what happened, maybe I have been fortunate enough not to have a lot of things I am trying to forget. I’ve always been happy with the gentle buzz of the third drink, and rarely felt the need to test my alcohol tolerance level. ( which is extremely low for a guy as big as me)
I’ve always respected the people that that have made a decision not not use alcohol or drugs, not because I felt it was a better choice, just that it was the harder choice. Socially and in business there is tremendous pressure to be part of the group. The art of remaining sober in a group of drinkers is a difficult one, being engaged without the rum and coke can be become a balancing act. Being in the group but not part of the group.
A simple technique is to avoid being pulled in to the drinking is by being the designated driver. People seem to accept that being responsible is both understandable and to be admired. But since the invention of Uber and Lyft the technique is getting more push back. The need for designated drivers have decreased and the opportunity to drink more increased.
So how do you manage this world of being buzzed and not blitzed?
I have found the secret lies in having a go to drink..something that is your regular ” I’m at a party” go to order.
If you have a go to, you have clearly experimented enough to know the drink will impact you. I have had learned this lesson the hard way drinking a new tequila based drink about 18 years ago, which led to me falling into a Christmas Tree. Its been roughly 6,600 days since that night and I can still taste that drink. I learned tequila was not my friend.
I made the conscious decision after that holiday fall to find a drink that would allow me to look engaged but in control. I experimented with dark liquors, but found them to give me headaches even with a small amount consumed – its a shame because I really like the thought of being a Glenlivet drinker into my 60’s appealed to me in that “Humphrey Bogart” sort of way. But alas my body did not cooperate with my will and the dream of nursing a good single malt evaporated.
I then thought wine. My mission was to become a student of wine and find a go to type, winery and vintage that you could depend on. Unfortunately for me wine has always been linked to food, I love good cab with a steak and developed favorite for different meals. But bellying up to the hotel bar and ordering a good Duckhorn never felt it fit the moment. I will still enjoy a good meal, and good wine with friends, but its more meal oriented.
Andrew has done a good job of finding a hobby to link to a drink, craft brewing. It allows him to enjoy a craft brew and discuss his hobby. To me that seemed like a good strategy, make the drink about more than a drink and you have both a go to drink and a story. Trust me we all need stories.
Only problem with Andrew’s strategy is that it takes too much work. He has found enjoyment in it and that is great, for me it required too much of a commitment to get good at it- but I admire the strategy.
Being an entrepreneur at heart I found a guy with a liquor who’s story I liked. When I found Omasspirits.com I found a great story and a great liquor. I love maraschino cherries and here a liquor made by a grandmother fell into my lap. For a few dollars I could have a drink, a good investment and a good story. I was on to something..
Which lead to the LSU Punch.
1 1/2 oz Oma’s
2 oz ginger beer
2 oz lemonade
garnish with cherry and lemon wedge
This allowed me to tell three stories…the original about Oma’s grand-mom creator, A link to my time in Bermuda ( ginger beer) and a story about our business and personal involvement in New Orleans. I was much more interested in the stories than the alcohol, and the fact that most of them were true and it was a good drink was just a bonus.
When the Ye Mystic Krewe of Neptune picked it as this year’s drink winner was just another bonus, and yet another story.
It took me nearly 60 years to get here but I found a drink.
What I urge you all to do is not to take drinking lightly. Find a responsible way to participate but with an intelligent choice. Yes you can indulge in the chocolate or key lime martini from time to time, because they are desserts. But they are not a go to drink.
You need to find something that tells something about you, a reason why its your drink. If you can’t find a good story make one up, everyone will be drinking they won’t notice.
If you can’t come up with good story, call me and we will make one up together.